August 20, 2020

How to Appear Professional During Virtual Meetings

Chances are that you’ve found yourself in quite a few virtual meetings lately. Although you may be working from home during Zoom meetings, it’s still important to appear professional. Prepare for the meeting as if you were participating in-person. Take a shower, get dressed appropriately, and make sure my surroundings appear professional and neat.

Zoom meetings won't be going away any time soon, so here are some tips on how to use your virtual meeting time as effectively as possible.

  1. Lighting – This is crucial to looking good on camera. Don't sit in front of bright windows, which can create a dark silhouette, and utilize tools designed for online meetings like lighting kits.
  2. Background – Choose a dedicated space, like a home office, to help you be intentional about what is seen in the background of your videos. Don’t have distracting things like dirty laundry lying around in the background that may appear unprofessional.
  3. Positioning – Place your camera angled slightly down toward you. Have the camera close enough that the other parties on the call feel connected to you but not so close that you end up with a distorted face.
  4. Camera – Invest in a higher quality camera for virtual meetings, especially if you’re meeting with clients multiple times during the week.
  5. Audio – How you sound is almost as important as how you look during virtual meetings. A quality microphone or headphones can make a big difference in how you are perceived during the meeting.
  6. Dress Up – To be honest, no one is probably going to see you from the waist down, so there’s no excuse to not dress up from the waist up! Make sure you look polished not only for the other parties on the call but for your own confidence too.
  7. Log in Early – Log in to your meetings a few minutes early to test your microphone and make sure you have all the necessary documents pulled up. You don’t want to be fumbling through files or notes while you’re trying to focus on what you’re saying.
  8. Smile! – If you’re distracted, it shows. Make eye contact with whoever is sharing on the call and pay attention to what they are saying. Keep in mind, too, that your facial expressions are communicating to everyone else how you’re feeling, even if you’re not doing the talking.

Combine all of these tips so that you're better equipped to represent both yourself and your company. Present yourself as a professional and you'll have more successful Zoom meetings.

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